Heads Up: Annette Obrestad

Annette Obrestad is something of an enigma in the world of poker. She came to prominence in 2003 when aged only 15 won several hundred thousand dollars playing poker online. Using her poker name of Annette_15, she won the money without ever making a deposit and got her initial stakes from playing in free roll tournaments.

In July 2007 she won an online poker tournament against 180 other players without looking at her cards.

On September 17th 2007 Annette won the World Series of Poker Main Event one day before her 19th birthday. Since then she has won over 3 million dollars playing poker.

Now still only 22 Annette is known for her aggressive style of Poker, but there is a lot more to her game than that. Ask Phil Helmuth.

We went heads up with the Norwegian star..

How do you win a 180 player sit and go without looking at your cards?
I was tilted. I had probably blown about $5k in tournaments that day and just wanted to mess around in a $4 sit-n-go. I think I started 2 tables at once and busted out of one and then won the other. I posted it on the forums and people got a kick out of it.

It was really hard because I could never call a bet when he kept shoving all in on me almost every hand. There was nothing I could do about it. If he knew that I was playing blind, he would have shoved all in every hand.

What are your favourite Hole cards?
Now that would be telling…lol

What is your biggest win so far?
The WSOPE main event in 2007, taking home over $1 million (see below).

Do you have any advice for players looking to turn pro?
I think in order to really become a good player, you need a lot of patience and stamina, and also be mentally very strong. The variance in tournament poker can be very frustrating, and bad runs can last a long time. If you can play through those streaks without tilting and still play your best, then you’re ready to take on any tournament you want.

Do you think it is an advantage to have a reputation in tournaments?
Having a reputation in tournaments can have different effects. Obviously if it’s a good reputation then yes it can be an advantage, however if it’s a bad reputation then it can have the opposite effect.

Do you have any pre-tournament rituals?
I always make sure to get plenty of sleep before tourneys and get rid of all jet-lag. I don’t mind travelling, at all. It’s cool to get to see all the new places that I’ve never been to before. If I bust early, there’s always online poker. I don’t play any differently just because I’ve travelled far to get there.


What is the most lost in a single hand?
Lets just say I felt rather sick.

Who do you think is the best poker player in the world?
Phil Ivey, I would love to play poker with him to see what makes him so special, why he’s so much better than everyone else.

Where is your favourite place to play?
I’d have to say Vegas. After that, Melbourne. I’ve done well in tournaments there and it’s a beautiful place.

If you didn’t play poker what would you be doing?
I’d probably be doing something I’d hate. I’d have real trouble doing a 9-5, but I guess I’d do it if I had to.

What is the best thing about being a poker player?
I love to visit different places and I love the fact that at such a young age i can enjoy life and fill my potential.

Who is on your stereo / iPod at the moment?
I mostly listen to quiet music when playing. Keane, James Blunt, and Colby Caillat are probably the most played on my list at the moment.

Annette Obrestad

What do you like doing when you are not playing poker?
That’s a good question. Spending money is always fun, so shopping is def on top of the list. Obviously my friends are important. Vacations, watching movies/TV, and all the stuff young people do.

What is the longest amount of time you have played poker in one sitting?
Does seeing the sun rise and set in the same day mean my poker sitting lasted a long time?

Do you think you are a lucky person?
Of course everyone needs a little luck at some point but from experience of playing online if you play with determination and skill and make decisions based on position and reads from opponents then the luck should only play a part when your behind.

Do you have other plans or you will play poker the rest of your life?
I love all the benefits from playing poker and I enjoy travelling around and the money. I am young and passionate and see a clear future in poker. I would like to think I would always continue to play poker until I lose the passion for it.